Isolation and Identification of a Neuroactive Factor from Lathyrus latifolius

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Science  21 Jul 1961:
Vol. 134, Issue 3473, pp. 188-190
DOI: 10.1126/science.134.3473.188


A neuroactive principle of Lathyrus latifolius has been isolated in crystalline form as a monohydrochloride and has been identified as L-α,γ-diaminobutyric acid. This amino acid has also been found in very high concentration in the toxic seed of Lathyrus sylvestris Wagneri. A structural relationship between this factor, the lathyrus factor from Lathyrus odoratus, and, β-cyano-L-alanine, a new, synthetic neuroactive amino acid nitrile, is pointed out, and a possible biosynthetic pathway relating these is indicated.